There’s no point in having a hazy mirror, but getting rid of stubborn stains can be a nuisance. And while you can use a microfiber cloth to remove regular dust, cleaning a cloudy mirror is a nightmare, particularly one with things like makeup smudges and fingerprints.
There are many ways to clean cloudy mirrors. You can use rubbing alcohol and vinegar, water and glass cleaner, shaving cream, hydrogen peroxide, or jeweler rouge. Apply these solvents on a clean microfiber cloth and wipe the mirror in an S pattern. Avoid using highly abrasive chemicals.
Things like dried soap and water, product stains from your last cleaning streak, and lint eventually lead to a cloudy mirror. So, whether it’s your hallway mirror or bathroom mirror, let’s look at how you can clean it and all the things you’ll need.
How Do You Clean Cloudy Mirrors?
Among other things, your mirrors can become cloudy because of a lack of maintenance, accumulation of dirt, and de-silvering. Mirrors are made using glass with a silver backing. With time, the mirror starts developing black spots, which is known as de-silvering, and it typically happens because of moisture.
In addition to water that seeps into the backing and layer of silver, de-silvering can also occur because of improper cleaning techniques.
Luckily, whether it’s limescale, paint stains, makeup particles, or fingerprints on your mirror, all of these things can be cleaned right off your mirror with the right products and just a little bit of patience.
For instance, you can dip a microfiber cloth or soft sponge in vinegar to wipe the mirror. Alternatively, you can rub shaving cream on it and wipe it away. Once your mirror is clean, you can take some steps to keep it clean.
What You’ll Need
Depending on the cleaning method, the things you might need differ. But in general, you need a microfiber cloth and a cleaning solution, like a jeweler’s rouge or shaving cream. You can also use a cotton pad with a glass cleaner, water, and a mixture of rubbing alcohol and vinegar.
Ensure you avoid using newspapers, as they’re not too effective, tend to leave behind ink residue, and might even cause streak marks on the mirror. Similarly, avoid using terry cloths and paper towels on your mirrors. You should also not spray glass cleaners on the mirror directly.
Now that you have everything you need, let’s look at the different ways to clean mirrors.
What to Avoid When Cleaning Mirrors
When cleaning cloudy mirrors, avoid using ammonia, especially if your mirrors are tinted. Ammonia can cause the tint to discolor, chip, or peel off entirely, making the mirror cloudy or hazy. Similarly, avoid using bleach since it can leave behind streaks and make your mirror dull with time.
Another thing you should avoid is alkaline cleaners since they usually include highly content bases like sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide that can damage the surface, edges, and back of the mirror.
Similarly, ensure you stay away from multipurpose cleaners, goo-removing cleansers, and furniture polish since they tend to leave a residue that makes the mirror cloudy.
You should also avoid using highly abrasive chemicals on mirrors. If you’re using bleach, read our tips here.
Method 1: Rubbing Alcohol and Vinegar
Vinegar is one of the most all-natural and low-cost ingredients used for cleaning. This solvent is very effective, most likely already present at home, and won’t harm you if you accidentally touch or inhale it. So here’s what you have to do:
- First, put some rubbing alcohol on a cloth or cotton pad and use it to scrub the stains. Alcohol tends to dry off quickly, so you’ll have to be very quick.
- Spray a mixture of vinegar and water or glass cleaner on a cloth. Avoid spraying it on the mirror since it can result in tarnish marks.
- Clean the glass by swiping a microfiber cloth in an S pattern. Start from the top left and eventually move down to the right corner; instead of a circular motion, clean in a zigzag pattern.
- You might not be able to notice the stains on the mirror if you look at it straight. So instead, you should look at it from a 45-degree angle and spot-clean all the stains you can find.
Method 2: Water and Glass Cleaner
Another way to clean cloudy mirrors is to use water, followed by a glass cleaner to remove streaks. Next, spray water or glass cleaner directly on the cloth and use that to wipe the arrow. Again, use an S pattern to get the most effective results.
Method 3: Shaving Cream
Shaving cream can also help clean your mirror.
- Squirt a little bit of shaving cream on a clean microfiber cloth. Make sure you don’t use shaving cream gel since it can leave behind some residue and is not as effective as shaving cream.
- Now rub the cream on the surface of the mirror using circular motions. Be careful not to get the cream on the mirror’s frame since it can damage delicate materials like wicker or wood.
- Then, wipe the shaving cream using a clean and dry microfiber cloth. Do this, too, in a circular motion.
- Repeat the process until your mirror is no longer cloudy.
Method 4: Jewelers or Polishing Rouge
If the methods above don’t work, you can use red, polishing, or jewelers rouge to make your cloudy mirror look almost as good as new. You can easily find it as a stick, paste, or fine powder in local stores.
Rub the rouge on all the stains you see on the mirror and wipe it using a clean microfiber cloth until the stains disappear.
Method 5: Hydrogen Peroxide
Another thing you can try to clean your mirrors is hydrogen peroxide. It’s cheap, odorless, and can also help restore your mirror’s shine. You can use it the same way as a glass cleaner—spray it on a microfiber cloth and wipe the mirror in an S pattern.